Monday, March 31, 2008

Fishing Mar 30 2008

Winter is fading away and spring is definitely here and open water comes along with that as well and that is where we headed. Very nice to be on open water once again and we took the kayak out to our favorite crappie pond. The air temp was 39 degrees and throw in a light breeze, but just being on open water kept me warm as the excitement of catching fish again had taken hold.

When fishing out of the kayak I generally fish ice style while using the flasher over the side. I use my ice fishing rods and fish vertically underneath the kayak and watch the flasher for when the fish go through. Generally I paddle around the area that I am going to fish and watch the flasher until I start marking fish. Drop the anchor to hold my position but the wind always plays games with me as it will turn the kayak around the anchor so one minute you are over fish and the next you are off again.

Started fishing where we had left off from the ice season, but wasn’t marking too many fish and would keep moving after a few minutes. There was some activity near the bottom of the lake but after catching a few perch that was all that was down that low. Really wasn’t marking many suspended fish, until one of my moves the screen on the flasher lit up. Quickly dropped the anchor and lowered my bait and a couple of jiggles later and the first crappie was in the boat. The school of fish hung there for a few seconds longer and they left and were never seen again.

Moved around the lake to try and get out of the wind but the winds on this lake are always switching directions and this makes it tough. All said and done I had caught a handful of perch and that one crappie. The bait that was used was the Loby Baits Maki in a bubble gum color and the durability of this bait allows you to catch numbers of fish on that one bait. Since the wind was picking up I decided that I might as well head home as the fish were not in the cooperating mood. Once the temperatures raise the water temps some more, we will be back to search the shorelines for these big crappies that live in this lake.

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Battery check

Many anglers across the north are beginning to pull their boats out of hibernation and getting them ready for the open water season. Hopefully most anglers keep up with checking and charging their boat batteries throughout the winter season and that way they don't have battery issues come spring time. By trickle charging those batteries throughout the winter months, this prolongs the life of these batteries and makes spring start up so much easier. If your batteries take water, now is the time to check their levels and make sure that the water is at the level that it is suppose to be at. Water levels to low, will strain the battery and dramatically shorten the life of that battery. If they were stored in the basement or garage, make sure to wipe them down as a battery with a lot of dust and dirt on it will shorten the life as well. Make sure that when storing the battery that never put it onto a concrete floor as this is another thing that takes the power out of the battery. Spring is here and by checking these little things, that first outing onto open water is made a bit easier.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Tackle Inventory

As most anglers are gearing up for the upcoming open water season, now is the time to pull out all of your gear and start going through it. Rods/reels need to be taken apart and lubed and oiled as well as the old line stripped off of the reels. Tackle needs to be gone through to see what is missing from your usual items that need replenishing. Also with the crankbaits, take a look at the treble hooks as there are times they are rusting and if that is the case, they need to be replaced. If you go through your stuff now, the stores are being stocked and your favorite items are all there as once the weather warms up, the shelves will definitely be picked over. As you are going through your tackle as well, that excitement of open water fishing over whelms you and gets you pumped for another great season of fishing.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Life Jacket Time

As the waters in New England are opening and anglers and families start pulling out their canoes and kayaks, now is the time to check those life jackets to make sure that they properly fit your children. Make sure that the zippers and buckles are all functional as well as verifying that the weight limitations are still being met. In Massachusetts, canoe and kayak users are required to wear their life jackets at all times through May. The waters are just coming off of ice conditions and very cold and hypothermia is still very possible if in the water for any length of time. Children should be wearing their life jackets at all times no matter what the season as it only takes a second for them to fall off of the boat into the water and if they have their life jacket on, getting them back safely into the boat is made much simpler. Every year the manufacturers come out with nicer gear and make them more comfortable for the kids to wear. Set a good example and teach your kids that wearing a life jacket is a good thing and the adults should be wearing theirs as well. Life jackets do save lives but only if they are worn so dig them out and make sure that your kids have the properly fitted life jacket so that they may enjoy their times on the water.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Monday, March 24, 2008

A new season is born

Here in New England we are in that limbo mode right in between ice fishing and open water fishing but this coming weekend we will be back on open water chasing crappies once again. This is allowing us time to catch up on things and get ice gear put away while getting the open water gear ready for another season approaching. Our first trip is going to be in the kayak and we will be fishing with our ice gear as this is a simple way of catching fish and with the kayak we will be fishing over the top of fish that we find. We use this approach in the fall as well as the spring and have paid off very well for us. This type of fishing is just like ice fishing as we have the flasher transducer hanging over the side and paddle until we find the fish. Then anchor up and lower the bait down to the fish and the rest is history after that. Since the weather hasn’t warmed the shallows much yet we target deeper water and the schools of fish are in search of food and getting ready for the upcoming spawn. We will be targeting our big crappie pond first and see if I can continue on with the size that we had left off with a couple of weeks ago. As more ice melts on other area lakes and ponds we will start using the big boat to get out there and chase after multiple species of fish. Panfish will be the target first and as the water starts to warm we will switch over to bass and start searching for smallmouth and largemouth and try to beat last years sizes. I have a few things up my sleeves to try this season and hopefully things pan out and we will definitely be doing videos as we go along as well. For the videos this open water season, I will be concentrating quite a bit on a bait per outing type of theme and this is going to force me to stay with that particular bait and adapt to what is going on at that time. I know that I am looking forward to getting back on the open water and sad to see the ice go, but now is time to start fishing a whole new world again and see what is working and not working. I am excited to get my son out there again as he is pumped to get on the water and keeps asking when we are going to get the big boat out. So stay tuned and hopefully we will be showing you some of these beautiful big New England fish and try a little saltwater as well…

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Friday, March 21, 2008

Open Water Soon

Since this spring has finally come and the lakes and ponds are on their way to being open water once again, time to go through the fishing gear and get ready for another season of fishing. Many of us haven’t looked at our fishing rods and reels since last fall and now is the time to get them out and clean them up. Stripping all of the old line off and getting ready to load new line is always on the list as fishing with old line could cost you that fish of a lifetime. Also the reels need to be taken apart, cleaned and lubed as the gears and moving mechanisms need this to prolong their life and for them to work properly. Rods need to be looked at for nicks and possible areas that are potential for breakage and the eyes definitely need to be looked at and replaced if they are worn out. By going through our equipment and making sure everything is clean and in working order, then when that day comes that we are on open water, we know that our equipment is going to function the way it is suppose to and this doesn’t cost us that fish that we have been waiting all winter for.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Exploring Spring

In the New England area we have spring trying to show itself but snow keeps creeping in to prolong the start of spring. But if you were to take a look around you will definitely see the signs that spring is coming and won’t be long before it is finally here. By letting your kids explore around the yard and taking walks in the parks and woods, they will get a good idea as to what spring is like and about. While watching the animals and birds going about their busy day while getting ready in making nests and searching for food is an exciting time. Looking around one is able to see new growth in the flowers that may be starting to come up as well as the new buds on the trees and bushes are getting fully formed. Spring is like a new beginning and letting your kids do some exploring and searching will give them a greater satisfaction of what it is like to see things starting all over again for the new season coming ahead.

BackWoods Sportsman OutDoors

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fishing Mar 16 2008

I wanted to get out and fish our best crappie lake and we had checked the ice on Friday and there was 6-7 inches at that time. Upon arriving there on Sunday I noticed that there was an open water channel through the middle of the pond and wasn’t about to try getting out on that. I checked two other lakes in that area and they were in the same condition, unsafe.

Finally made it back to our backup pond and there was around 9 inches of ice there but the first 4 inches is all honeycombed and soft. Hoping that the bite was going to be better because of the late season I had punched a number of holes in varying depths and proceeded to fish. First hole produced a nice sunfish right away and figured that this was going to be the way the day was going to go. Well it didn’t take long and a number of holes later I was right back to having to really work at getting the bites going.

Over the course of a few hours I had drilled at least 60 holes over a good 1/3 of the lake and varying the water depths from 8 feet out to 19 feet. The best action was in the shallower waters but the size was nothing to write home about. Anything of size was in the deeper water and ended up going back to where I had started to see if I could find anything better. The baits that were used were CKOutdoors T.H.E. Jig and also used the Loby Baits Maki. The bite was somewhat of a light bite and a number of times you didn’t even known that they had the bait in their mouth.

I was hoping that this was going to be one of those days that the bigger fish start showing themselves as we are getting towards spring and their activity will start picking up. But, lately this seems to be the norm and working to catch fish is getting to be a regular thing. This ice season is now in the books as the next outing will be on open water. We had a great season and one of the longest ones that I can remember and I was fortunate to be able to travel to MN and ice fish there as well. I have learned a lot over the course of this ice season and I am already pumped for next ice season as I am not ready to give it up yet.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

New Sponsor

We welcome CKOutdoors as our latest sponsor
CKO is the home to T.H.E. Jig
T.H.E. stands for Totally Hot Everyday. We've been tying this quality downsized hair jig for over a decade. Because finesse fishing is so deadly T.H.E. Jig is one of those go to baits the discerning fisherman have in their tackle box that they hold in high regard for when those pannies are tight lipped. Go to the link for T.H.E. Jig to see the stories that have been documented from several fishing forums. T.H.E. Jig........if it's's catch'n fish!
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Friday, March 14, 2008

New release baits from BearPaws Hand Poured Baits

New for 2008 Bearpaws Football, Pigskin Shakee and Tilt & Shakee Jigs. Made of the finest quality hooks gives you the punching power required for a solid hookset. Many sizes are available to match all conditions.

All our jigs are painted with the most durable powder paint and heat cured for that extra paint strength.

Check these new baits as well as the full lineup of BearPaws Hand Poured Baits at:

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Kids - OutDoors - what a combo

As the ice season starts to wrap up, depending in which part of the country you are located, there will be a little lag time before open water season takes hold. During this time and to keep your kids interested in the outdoors, spend some time walking through the woods either in the many park systems that our country offers or the woods behind the house. By exploring the woods and prairies that are all around us, this gives our kids another appreciation as to what the outdoors has to offer them. By looking at animals, birds, bugs, plants and trees, there is a vast amount of curiosity as well as learning that can come from these adventures. By bringing a compass along with us this is another exercise in learning how to use tools to find our ways through the outdoors. As spring develops in all areas of the outdoors, so does new life and with that a new beginning for all that Mother Nature has to offer us. Always keep an eye on our kids while in the outdoors as these areas are vast and the little ones can get lost very quickly. By showing and telling those about the dos and don’ts of being in the outdoors this will make them a well rounded person and also a person that can appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.
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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fishing Mar 7 2008

March 7, 2008

The weekend was coming fast and making the decision as to when to hit the ice again was going to be a tough one. Friday looked to be the best day as there was little wind, sunny skies and low 40’s for temps. Friday night and all day Saturday was going to be heavy rains and local flooding coming through and Sunday after the storm we had 40mph plus winds all day. So by going on Friday we had picked the better day weather wise.

My son had half a day at school and I left work early to pick him up. I had recently ordered an Austin Custom Rod for him since he is getting heavy into ice fishing and low and behold we got home and there on the doorstep was his new rod. Couldn’t have timed that better and after seeing his new rod he was ready to get to the lake and see how this rod works against the fish.

After our walk through the woods to get to this particular pond, we were greeted with open water on this shoreline and had to make our usual walk around a good part of the lake to get to the shoreline that is in the shade. One thing about this pond is that the times that I have fished there this winter there hasn’t been one other angler out there and this day was no exception. We get to our first spot and notice that the surface ice is honeycombing and drilled a hole and we had 2 inches of this honeycomb and 4-5 inches of clear solid ice under that.

Wasn’t long and my son had his first fish on his new Austin Custom Rod and the bait that was tied on was T.H.E. Jig in the char/black combination. This color combination for this lake has been very good for us so I usually have that tied on his rod. After that fish it went back to normal for this lake as they don’t congregate in a certain hole and you have to keep moving and looking for active fish. Luckily the ice isn’t that thick anymore and I am able to drill numbers of holes in our search.

We moved out to 20 feet of water and this seemed to be much more productive than the 16 feet that we were trying. Wasn’t long and the Vexilar screen lit up and my son’s rod started to jiggle a little, he reared back on that new Austin Rod and I could tell right away that he had a good one on. He was reeling as hard as he could and then as the sinker came out of the hole and right after that a 14 inch slab crappie followed. This thing was huge and I had never seen one that big out of this lake and for him to catch it, that just made my day and watching his excitement was priceless.

We kept moving around and we would catch one here and one there but I couldn’t catch anything of size and this day was his day for catching nice fish. Baits that we used were Loby Baits and T.H.E. Jig. We kept a few for a meal and these cold water fish taste so good at this time of year. The bite definitely died off after the few hours that we were out there and we had decided to call it a day. Unfortunately I have a feeling that this may be our last trip to this lake as the shoreline on a good portion of it was open and with the few inches of rain we had with very high winds that followed, I think that this lake is on its way to opening up. We have one other lake that I am hoping we get out on once more and within a week or two I am figuring that all ice will be unsafe to venture out on and then look forward to the open water season.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

BWS OutDoors latest video Ice Fishing March 7 2008

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Friday, March 7, 2008


We were out checking lake conditions yesterday and the thaw as of late and rains as well are having a major effect on our ice conditions. With the coming rain storm tonight into tomorrow, this will end ice fishing on a number of the lakes that we fish. The top surfaces we noticed yesterday are honeycombed down about 2 inches and solid ice after that. This ice season I have never used my spud bar so much as this is becoming my most important piece of equipment that I own as of lately. I would highly recommend bringing a spud bar with you if you are going to be venturing onto any ice as the conditions are changing by the hour. The lake that we are going to fish today will be the last time for this ice season and I only have a couple of other ones that may go another week or so, pending on next weeks weather. We have been fortunate to have such a long season this year and will remember all of our outings very well, but open water is right around the corner and a whole new ballgame is in town once again.
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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Watch your Step

Another very eventful week of weather here in New England as summer like conditions has made an impact on our ice conditions. Rain has followed as well and the winds are blowing all of this warm air across our ice covered lakes. With the potential of heavy flooding rains this weekend, the ice conditions in our area are starting to wear and erode fairly quickly and safe travel once again needs to be heeded. The top of the ice is honeycombing and mushy and your foot goes through this with ease for a couple of inches until you hit the solid layer of ice. Under that, the ice is still solid but with the next couple of day’s weather, that layer will go deeper and the ice is going to be getting softer. Shoreline access on some lakes already is fading away and the shorelines with all day shade will possibly be the hardest ice for getting on the lakes and ponds. Now is the time that we need to watch our small children and family pets if this weather continues like this and makes the ice conditions unsafe. We have been fortunate to have a long ice season this past year and we have taken full advantage of it. But it is a sad day when we need to think about retiring our ice fishing gear for another year and hopefully this is not that last weekend.
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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Fishing March 2, 2008

This New England weather is a none stop roller coaster into this later part of the 2007-2008 winter ice season. We had another very weather changing week and this is definitely putting the fish into a funky mood. This time of year we should be experiencing the start of late ice season and aggressive fish should be following. But with the weather fronts that keep coming through every few days, the hit and miss of hitting a good bite is getting to be the resemblance of gambling.

The week consisted of spring like weather followed by decent amounts of rain as well as plow-able snow accumulation as well. Throw in a few fairly cold nights to firm the ice up once again and each day brings along with it a new conditions that the fish have to relate differently to and this is affecting them as much as us.

With high winds in the forecast we already knew that the bite today was going to be tough and one that we are going to have to work at if we are going to catch anything at all. The ice is getting thicker every time that we come to this lake and this reassures that a power auger is in our future for next ice season.

My son is enjoying his first ice season very much and joins me again today and with the tough bite I was curious as to how he was going to handle it. He started off by catching a nice sunfish on T.H.E. Jig in the pink/purple color in 15 feet of water that was 5 feet off of the bottom and unfortunately that was the only fish that he would catch for the day. Being the bite was so off he had more fun venturing and playing along the shoreline and on the ice that he was very content doing that.

There was one area that held fish consistently but they would come up to look at the bait and then would drop back down. We were changing bait colors, sizes and depth of water fished and seemed to be a consensus as to their mood that they were lookers and not takers. Towards the end, the fish started getting a little more active and the bigger fish were coming from not far below the ice. But after 2-3 hours of not much action he was ready to head out and the fish weren’t coming in fast and furious so we left on that note.

What I had learned as time progressed was that the color scheme wasn’t that much of an issue but it was the size of the bait. The fish that I finally did start catching were all caught on the 1/100 oz T.H.E. Jig and they were not inhaling it either as it was right on the edge of their top lip. These fish were much higher off of the bottom and at least 10 feet up which we haven’t seen like that on this lake before. Thankfully for my electronics we are able to work the fish at the depths they range and without that, on a tough day as this, there may not have been any fish caught at all.
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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Latest video from Mar 2 2008

BWS OutDoors Fishing Mar 2 2008

Latest video:

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Monday, March 3, 2008

KIDS on Ice

Getting kids into fishing can be very trying at times and keeping their interest is the biggest part of a successful day. We are finding that getting them interested in fishing is a little easier in the winter time on the ice as opposed to open water fishing. With spring coming the days are getting much nicer out there and much more enjoyable for everyone that fishes on the ice. Make sure that the ice conditions are safe before doing any venturing onto the ice with younger kids and yourself as well. The fish may be a little more active as the sun is getting stronger and the world under the ice is coming more alive as each day passes. By letting the kids try ice fishing at their own pace makes for a much better day on the ice for everyone. If the fish are not biting or there is a slow bite, let them play around on the ice and there are many games that can be played there as well. Then they will come back and try fishing once again and hopefully the bite will be better and they start catching fish to peak their interest. By letting the kids dictate how the day goes will make for a memorable and also a fun day on the ice and they may surprise you and want to go again next weekend.
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Sunday, March 2, 2008

Spring weather

As the calendar has been flipped over to March, New England weather follows along with this just as well. This past week is no exception as we have had summer like temps, rain filled days, plowable snow conditions and now strong high winds. But no matter what Mother Nature is going to throw at us we are still going to get out there and enjoy the outdoors. We are planning on hitting the lake today for some ice fishing but are going to be doing something’s a little differently. We usually concentrate on the deeper holes of the lakes but now that we are getting towards late ice we are going to change things up. We are going to fish much closer to shore today but the areas that we will be at have a steeper shoreline. This area the shoreline drops into deeper water fairly quickly and fish use areas like this more and bigger fish as well. Why they use these areas is because they can move up into the shallower waters to feed and then if the conditions change they are able to move back to the deeper water for more comfort. Finding these avenues that they use to do this is the key to a successful trip and this is what we are going to be looking at doing today. Until next time good fishing and enjoy the outdoors.
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Saturday, March 1, 2008

Stock up now

As our winter fishing season is approaching the end of its time, thoughts start turning towards warm days and open water fishing. Fishing tackle companies have come out with wide arrays of new tackle items and should be another fantastic year of fishing. Now is the time to look through your current tackle inventory and see what needs to be replenished for tackle items. Many fishers are not into the open water mode yet and the tackle shelves are still full with the new tackle and also all of the old reliable tackle that we use on a consistent basis. Take advantage of purchasing your tackle now while everything is plentiful and that way when the open water season is upon you your tackle will be ready to go. While going through your current tackle pay close attention to those treble hooks on your lures and make sure that they are not all rusted up as if they are then they will need to be replaced. Nothing like getting out there on the water in the early season and opening that tackle box for the first time after winter and finding that those lures with hooks are unable to be used with the conditions they are in. The day of open water are going to be here soon and now is the time to get those boxes, rods and reels ready to go.
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